Last year my fifth graders made collaborative rotoscope animations that we put into flipbookit.com mutoscopes. It was pretty amazing to see digital art become physical through this fun viewer. See the post with all the how tos here. Below is the display I set up this school year showcasing their flipbookits. I used this display to introduce the concept to my 4th graders.
I want to do a rotoscope movie making lesson with my 4th graders so we tried a collaborative rotoscope as a practice round. Each student was assigned one frame of a video to draw a contour line drawing over. They used the Do Ink drawing app this time since it will be the tool for their real animation. This picture shows them in action.
The animation was uploaded to the flipbookit site to be fitted for their mutoscope.
I'm super excited to have found the Flipbookit in my Twitter feed a month or so ago. The discovery came at a time where I was thinking about how to display our class animations as I was preparing for rotoscope animations lesson with my 5th graders. What a perfect solution. The flipbookit is a DIY kit that creates a retro styled mutoscope, an early motion picture hand cracked flipbook device. This box has a crank that spins a rolodex of cards that you can customize through their online tool printed on labels. It took me 1 hour to put the box together and 1/2 hr to print, stick, and load the art. They are too expensive to have each student make their own, but because of their design, they make for a really simple all class rotoscope collaborative project. I'll try to explain.
The Flipbookit animation is only 24 frames long. That is a pretty short video.
It would be best if the video loops too since the crank allows you to view it over and over again. So, I asked one 5th grader from each of the 4 classes to volunteer to be filmed performing a short dance move that would easily loop. Here they are below.
1. Film a short looping video
I filmed them before green screen and used the Green Screen app by Do Ink to clean up the background so my animators would be undistracted by the background and better able to focus on the dancers when they draw their rotoscope.
2. Prepare the 24 frames of video
3. Preparing the tools to draw
Since the class is going to make one collaborative animation, we need each of the 24 frames of the video to look similar. The size of the image, color of the pen, thickness of the pen, and style of the drawing need to be similar enough that the illusion of movement is created. I set some parameters ahead of time when I created my example. Here is the handout to set up the drawing in the Brushes Redux app.
4. Turn in and rename digital files
----VIEW STUDENT IMAGES HERE----
4.5 (optional) Made an animated gif
I wanted to see how the 24 drawings would look as a digital animation so I loaded them into https://ezgif.com/maker to make an animated gif from the images.
5. Print and load the flipbookit
I followed the online directions for converting the 24 drawings into a pdf that would be printed onto the special sized labels that came with the DIY Flipbookit. I stuck them on the blank cards and loaded them into the rolodex to see the magic of Mutoscope animation from our collaborative rotoscope animation.
Digital animation made physical
Displaying the Mutoscopes:
Every Night I Dream Of Dancing by Andrew Huang is a music video collaboration of thousands of drawings from 30 different artists. The song is fun and the artwork is very inspiring. It has much more color and creativity than this project, but now that we've learned the process, perhaps next time we can take it further.
Drawing from Experience
This lesson requires student to create a CONTOUR LINE DRAWING. Allow the old and wise (and very little from all the years of sharpening) Grandpa Pencil explain more.
Extension: Build a Mutoscope Viewer
View our Entry for the What's Your Story
Internet Safety Contest
(Won the 2nd Place Prize)
View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT 07
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